Resistance Training in Ms Patients Found to Improve Hip Strength, Walking Ability

Resistance Training in Ms Patients Found to Improve Hip Strength, Walking Ability

Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine released preliminary results of an ongoing study into an effective and progressive resistance training program to improve hip strength and walking ability, areas of concern in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). The program, consisting of exercises using resistant elastic bands adapted to different levels of disability, was found to improve strength in MS patients in the trial’s first eight weeks.

The article describing the methodology of the design, implementation, and results of the resistance strength training (RST) program, published in the JoVE Journal, is titled “Adapted Resistance Training Improves Strength in Eight Weeks in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.

The protocol, according to study leader Dr. Kathleen M. Zackowski, addresses hip weakness, a primary impairment affecting the quality of life for people with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases. The elastic band exercises are presented in a straightforward and simple manner, providing the patient an easy and inexpensive exercise to strengthen core mobility muscles, a press release said.

Moreover, the exercises can be used in a group setting, and be modified to accommodate differing levels of muscle weakness (asymmetric, profound or mild), emphasizing proper strength and alignment for the muscles used in walking.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society-funded study assessed the efficacy of a 12-week progressive resistance program in a group of 30 MS patients and 30 healthy controls. The procedure consists, firstly, of a proper explanation of the exercise, followed by the assessment of motor and functional impairments, including baseline strength of the hip flexor, hip extensor, and hip abductor muscles through a break test.

Prior to each exercise, participants are instructed to look at the exercise log and choose the level of resistance most appropriate for them. Weaker participants are assigned less aggressive forms of some exercises. The workout consist of repetition of a core group of movements — hip flexion, hip abduction, hip extension, hip external rotation, knee extension, and knee flexion — and each person was given an individualized exercise program to continue over the weekend.

At eight weeks,  statistically significant hip strength and symmetry improvements were seen in individuals with differing degrees of disability. Observing change at eight weeks is an important measure in  designing clinical trials for pharmacological or rehabilitative interventions.

An instructional video, with exercise demonstrations and comments regarding patient compliance and instructor motivation by the researchers, is available through this link.

“Future application of this protocol in the home will provide greater opportunity for more individuals to benefit from this program,” Dr. Zackowski concluded in the video.


  1. Dell Caron Gray says:

    I have Progressive MS and would also love a copy of this workout as I believe it would help with balance and flexibility issues.

  2. Hanan Elbanna says:

    Shamshayek@ hotmail. Com
    I would like a copy of the video and the elastic bang. My RR. MS is turning to a PP. ms and I think will help my balance and walking

  3. DeaAnn Fisk says:

    I have progressive MS, and have had both hips replaced, and now my left knee is bothering. Is there an exercise I can do for this knee?

  4. Beth Broun says:

    yes please send video! I have PPMS dx 5 years ago and work out every day for 2 hours! Strength and cardio. I no longer swing my left leg out from doing stuff like this.
    So important!

  5. Pauls Lorraine Morash says:

    Can I get a copy of this any way. I have spms with hip weakness and gait issues. I will purchase if I can

    • Tim Bossie says:

      I am not sure what it is that you want a copy of, but if it is the study that this article is based on you can follow the links in the post and print it off. There are also several great videos on YouTube showing exercises and tips for resistance training with MS.

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